Saturday, August 20, 2005

Thailand - Second temple

There were two identical five-headed snakes forming the sides of this walkway. They are even more beautiful and impressive than they seem to be in this picture. My guide, Oi, stumbled over explaining the snakes to me. I think she was thinking they were the seven-headed snake Lek told me about in the first temple I visited. So, sorry, can't tell you much about the snakes other than that they look really cool.

I really never did get a clear grasp of this snake guy, and Oi couldn't seem to get a grip on him herself to explain it. But he looks interesting enough. In a really alarming sort of way. Snakes don't seem to have the negative connotations to Buddhists that they have to Christians.

My guide, Oi, tried to explain the multiheaded elephant to me, but stumbled the way a typical Christian would probably stumble while trying to explain the Plagues of Egypt. So I'm not clear on the significance of the elephant, but I do know a cool looking piece of sculpture when I see it.

At a pagoda I was mobbed by these kids, who are studying to be tour guides. Their English teacher was with them but we couldn't understand each other so Oi, my guide, had to translate. This temple was the only place I went in Thailand where I was mobbed as a novelty rather than mobbed by people trying to sell me stuff.

You could see this shrine in the middle-distance from the pagoda where I was mobbed by the little kids. Oi, my guide, says that the statue is of some woman of particular interest to the Chinese Buddhists. I'm not clear on what she's doing in Thailand. That said, she is impressive and beautiful.

A whole troop of these fellows were holding up the temple. I'm not sure what they were representing, but they certainly are something to look at.

If you rub it right, this gong sings. Oi, the guide, and I both tried but couldn't make it sing. But occasionally somebody would manage, and the sound was eerie and beautiful.

My guide was very pleased with this shot of the golden statues. I didn't ask about them; as a Christian I'm uncomfortable in a Buddhist temple and really don't now what I ought to be saying or doing. So while it was a beautiful place where people are pursuing holiness, I really just wanted to get out of there.

Oi, my guide, is Buddhist and explained all the paintings to me. This shot captures the character of the paintings and the brilliance of the gilded and jewel-like ... What should I call the spaces between the frescoes? They were each different. But the Buddhist temples all had similar decor, with the gilding and the jewel-like effect that I was told was colored glass. It looks much to bright to be just colored glass. Perhaps it's backed with silver to give it that sparkle.


At 4:02 PM, Blogger achromic said...

That's is some awsome stuff that you got to go see. I'm very envious. That woman statue!!! LOL! I love that. And all those gold sitting people!! Man alive! Now I want to go to Thailand too.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger lucyalexander48657966 said...

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At 8:28 PM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

achromic, it was truly awesome.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Sasha said...

i have decided i am going to Thailand. Your pictures made me so jealous. I've started doing some research on the country, and I have decided to go.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Sasha, it is really amazing. Keep us posted!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Bstermyster said...

Awesome pics!

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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